“It’s very encouraging to see how God has gone before us”
Whether they are stationed in the United States or serve overseas in the Middle East, Converge global workers John and Jenny are finding new ways to continue building relationships and meeting needs during the pandemic.
Here are two stories from the front lines that the couple recently shared about how God opened ministry doors for them.
Three months ago, we relocated to the U.S. (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) to be near John’s aging mother. We soon learned that a Syrian refugee family lives one street behind John’s mom and a few blocks down — so close!
On our way to the airport for John’s recent trip to Iraq, we got a phone call from a fellow worker. She apologetically explained that she had told our Syrian neighbors (whom we hadn’t met yet) that John was going to Iraq, and it happens that the wife’s mother lives in the very same city where John was going. Would he be willing to bring a package back to Lancaster from Iraq for the family? Our response was, “Of course!”
Our neighbors’ relatives delivered the package to the hotel where John was staying in Iraq, and a few days after John’s return to Lancaster, we went to visit the Syrian family who lives near us. They were overjoyed to get a package from their relatives, and it instantly brought us into great favor relationally. The family opened their hearts to us on the very first visit.
As I was showing the wife and daughter pictures of our refugee work in Turkey and explaining some trauma activities, the 8-year-old daughter said: “I feel upset and scared all the time, every day.”
I have returned to do trauma-relieving activities with the daughter and have gone on a few walks with her mom. Last week on our walk, the girl’s mom asked me about the meaning of Easter. It was a wide-open door to share the gospel, ending with an invitation for her to ask God to show her who Jesus is. Her husband is very open, too.
It’s very encouraging to see how God has gone before us in weaving so many details together for us to step into a relationship with this family. Will you pray for this family to come to faith in Jesus soon and begin a new life in him? There is already a small community of Muslim Background Believers here that they can join.
The Lord opened the door for some prosthetic rehabilitation ministry in Erbil, Iraq, through a local Kurdish brother who has a ministry to children with disabilities.
He introduced me to a 9-year-old girl named Baha, who is missing both of her legs above the knee. She needed prostheses to walk and get back to school. We got plaster bandage impressions of her legs, and then by using a new socket technology, I was able to fabricate the sockets here in the U.S.
To fit her with the prostheses, I needed a medical bag to be sent from Diyarbakir, Turkey, to Erbil. We asked many people to pray because this would be no easy task getting the bag across the border and to Erbil by the time I arrived from the U.S.
This is where God’s people played a huge role in making this happen. First and foremost, it was the prayers of God’s people that got the bag through to Iraq. The church in Diyarbakir, Turkey, had the bag sent to the border. A dear brother from Zakho, Iraq, arranged for a driver to get the bag, bring it across the border and deliver it to brother Kaizak in Zakho.
Then arrangements had to be made for the bag to get me in Erbil. Brother Kaizak conscripted another driver, and he brought it to where I was staying so I was ready to work on Baha and fit her with the artificial limbs. She was fit and started walking the first day.
She is a remarkable little girl. The prostheses are unique in that they have a lot of adjustability. But I would not have been able to fit Baha successfully without the medical bag from Diyarbakir. I thank God for all the people who did their part to make this happen. Baha was a very happy girl, and I had the opportunity to pray a blessing on her and her family in Jesus’ name.